Castanea expert Vahlenkamp wins season finale
Castanea Resort Championship 2023
The season could hardly have ended on a more exciting note: For the second time after 2021, Timo Vahlenkamp wins the Castanea Resort Championship. After rounds of 67, 67 and 68 strokes, the German had to play a play-off with the Finn Alex Hietala, won the first extra hole and thus also decided the overall ranking of the Pro Golf Tour 2023 in his favor.
Adendorf, Germany - Thrilling finale at the last tournament of the season: The Castanea Golf Resort once again provided the perfect stage for the major highlight of the Pro Golf Tour season. During the final round of the Castanea Resort Championship 2023, four players were in the lead at times. One of them was already familiar with this situation: Timo Vahlenkamp had won the season finale two years ago and secured his promotion to the Challenge Tour at that time in the final meters. He had similar plans for this year. And there were many parallels. Once again, Vahlenkamp posted an overall score of -11. And once again, that put him in a playoff.
"I had to think about it in between and that motivated me," Vahlenkamp said a few minutes after defeating Alex Hietala of Finland on the first extra hole. "It all felt like back then. That was nice." This time it went much faster than two years ago, when the decision was not made until the sixth extra hole. "It's very awesome. I'm really happy to have won the tournament again. And then also just like two years ago." His second victory at Castanea Golf Resort was tantamount to winning the Order of Merit. Even before the season finale, Vahlenkamp, who had won the FaberExposize Gelpenberg Open in early September, was among the top five in the Order of Merit.
"The greens were mega"
Clearly, Vahlenkamp likes the design of the Mastercourse at Castanea Golf Resort. "The course is relatively narrow and tricky in between," said the two-time champion, who was thrilled with the condition of the course. "Despite the weather, they still managed to get a super course. The greens were mega and not so soft despite the rain." The organization of the season highlight "was also super, as always." And so the Berliner-by-choice couldn't get the grin off his face after an outstanding season-ending spurt including two victories and promotion to the Challenge Tour. "We're going straight back to Berlin now and tonight we'll celebrate nicely."
Next year Challenge Tour
In addition to Vahlenkamp, other players were allowed to celebrate. Two-time season winner Andoni Etchenique on France finished second overall and will thus play on the Challenge Tour in 2024, as will compatriot Clement Guichard, Christian Bräunig (Germany) and Zan Luka Stirn (Slovenia). They all start there in category 13b.
Peter Zäh: "A dignified end to the season"
For the ninth time in a row, the season finale of the Pro Golf Tour took place at Castanea Golf Resort - and once again more than lived up to the high expectations. "As every year, we have been looking forward to this special week at Castanea Golf Resort for a long time and witnessed a dignified conclusion to the season. From the outstanding quality of the golf course to the professional handling and energetic support of all involved, we are extremely proud of our longstanding partnership with Castanea Golf Resort. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all those who made this event possible. With great anticipation, we are already looking forward to the next three years together," said Peter Zäh, Managing Director of the Pro Golf Tour.
Next week, the Pro Golf Tour's Qualifying School for the 2024 season is still on the agenda. At GC Verden and at Golfanlage Holledau (both from October 10 to 11), 96 players each will try to earn a category for 2024.